BOSTON (CBS) — Joel Embiid has enjoyed personal success against the Boston Celtics, usually putting up some big numbers whenever the two teams clash.
The 76ers big man did so again Tuesday night, dropping a team-high 34 points and 16 rebounds in Boston. But like most of the times Embiid’s 76ers have met up with the Celtics, he filled the stat sheet in a losing effort. Despite Embiid’s performance, the Celtics came out on top with a thrilling 121-114 overtime victory on Christmas Day.
With that loss, Embiid is now just 2-9 against the Celtics in his career, including Boston’s five-game series win over Philly in the Eastern Conference semis last postseason. While he’s averaged 22.5 points and 13 rebounds in those 11 meetings, Embiid would like to start seeing some Philadelphia victories come out of those efforts.
The Celtics and 76ers are one of the NBA’s longest rivalries, dating back to the days of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. The Celtics usually got the better of the 76ers back then, and that is carrying over to the present day version of the rivalry.
But Embiid won’t call it a rivalry. As he stated following the 76ers’ Opening Night loss in Boston, the 76ers need to start winning some games against the Celtics for Embiid to tag it as such.
“We lost again. Like I said at the beginning of the season, I don’t know what a rivalry is. I think I do, but this is clear as day, this is no rivalry,” said Embiid
Embiid and the 76ers get two more shots at the Celtics during the regular season, first on Feb. 12 and again on Mar. 20, with both of those matchups in Philadelphia. With the 76ers currently sitting in the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference, and the Celtics just a game behind them, there’s a good chance they meet again in the playoffs as well.